I’m curious about how much doubt other revisers experience. I personally experience a lot of it. It makes communication like this difficult because I’m not confident about any of my conclusions.
Commonly, this doubt expresses itself in the question, “How do you know?” It can be a question that is turned outward on the conclusions or assertions of others but is more commonly turned inward on my own conclusions. It makes me unsure about what I want, what I feel and what I think.
A potential source of this pattern may be a conclusion I come to from time to time; that I shouldn’t know anything. It’s the conclusion that knowledge in general is possible, but should be abstained from. Potentially, my view may be that knowledge doesn’t exist as people think it does. When people say they know something, my view may be that what they think they know is fundamentally unverifiable and thus not true knowledge.
Do any other revisers experience this amount of doubt about things? What’s your attitude towards the doubt and how does it help or hinder you in life? I’d also be interested the difference between the reviser experience of doubt and the conductor experience of doubt.
Hello ! 🙂
I experience doubt all the time. It's not so much that I think knowledge should be abstained from, no, not at all. In my case, it's mostly the belief that everyone is right at the same time...to a certain degree. And that it's hard to determine who is more right.. on the right and wrong scale. :))
Usually in conflicts or even in simple exchanges of ideas I can see all points that are being made. If I don't see them or don't understand them, I am still open to the possibility that if I did, they might have a grain of truth in them.
So, in general debates that people are having, which don't have a real impact on real life, I usually bring to light all points of view I can identify. I might show more interest in one or another but usually I do express doubt. Sometimes in a subtle way or as a joke. But it is still there and people can take it or leave it. If they take it, we start discussing the opposite point of view. If they leave it, we keep the conversation going about the first point of view we were exploring.
In real life situations, it's trickier because I'm not sure what is true and what is false but I know what I want. So, first I analyze if what I want has any negative impact on anyone else by using empathy and if the conclusion is it does not, I start thinking how to do it. I think this is the way Fi - Te users usually function, more or less. And since I already decided what I want and that it is ethically correct, all I have to do is to take the necessary steps to do it. So, there is no more question regarding knowledge...or, well, there is, I gather knowledge about how to do that thing, for example, if I want a job, I gather knowledge about what I have to do to get it. But this type of knowledge exists and is attainable. 🙂
I also have many moments of indecision but they don't come from not knowing something but from not being sure if my potential actions would be ethical or not.
Do you know the trolley problem? 🙂 It's something like - Do you let a trolley run over 5 people tied on the bottom track without doing anything or do you pull the lever to switch the track so that it only hits one person who is tied on the upper track ? You must keep in mind that pulling the lever is an action to kill someone, or as people say, pulling the lever is murder. :p
In this wonderful case, it's pretty clear, I would pull the lever - one death is better than 5 deaths. But many situations are more nuanced. And I have to sit and think and foretell all the possible consequences of every action I could take. And here is my place of reviser doubt. Because being Pe lead, I see a lot of possibilities. 🙂 And this just makes every situation highly complex. What if the woman on the upper track is pregnant? What if the 5 people on the lower track are murderers? What if a kid sees me pulling the lever and will repeat this action in the future in a situation in which he shouldn't? :)There are many, many what ifs.
This especially makes every argument a struggle for me, because even about the arguments I provide I usually have doubts. My ego concentration is Fi and I need to judge things correctly. But "How do you know?" is always a question that weakens my confidence about my conclusions. The struggle is real.
So yeah, hope it helped.
Thanks for the responses!
Which function(s) do you guys think are/is most responsible for the doubt. Also, how do you handle the question of “How do you know?”
@SupahProtist - in my case, I think doubt comes mostly from Fi. But Se also has a contribution, because being open to alternatives implies having to choose from them, which inevitably leads to reviser doubt.
I think there are many, many things you don't know and you will never know for sure. For example, no matter what people here or in any other place say, you don't know what comes after death. No matter what you read, what drugs you take, what extensive spiritual practices you try - you will never know for sure what expects you after death. You have to choose how to live without knowing it.
Another thing you never know is what other people truly feel. No matter how deep the connection may feel, you will never merge with them completely and see their thoughts as if they were your own or experience what they feel as your own feelings. There is always a wall separating you from the others. There will always be some level of doubt and you have to choose what to do despite it.
I had this interesting situation with a friend these days. A week ago she lied to me twice. I found out from a common friend. She is one of the closest people to my heart. Really, really close. So, since she lied to me, I bumped into the wall again, actually the Wall, the one in Pink Floyd's songs, you know? :)) I came to the conclusion that I don't know and that I will never know for sure if she feels exactly the same way I do. I will never know her motives for lying. And if she has moments of friendship and little failings or is altogether not as immersed in our friendship as I am. And without ever knowing, I decided to keep her as a friend. Because it is in my power to be there for her even if she is not 100% there for me.
I think Kierkegaard solved this issue but I read him a long time ago, I didn't read anything philosophical for years but you guys somehow always bring all these things back to me. So, what was it that he said...? Oh, yes, that you should take a leap of faith if you don't know and can't know.
Basically, I think what he was saying is that true faith means taking a leap without knowing the truth. If it were based on knowledge, how could we claim it is faith? 🙂 So, this is a possible solution, I think. You do not know. You accept you do not know and take a leap of faith. This way you can have a meaningful life instead of pondering forever about things that people will never know.
Personally, I don't really follow this idea, especially not in religion...but I might do it at some point. Right now I'm just saying it is a possible solution to the situations in which you don't know the truth. (which are most of the relevant situations in life, I think 🙂 ).